Adapting to ‘one-size-fits-all’: constructing appropriate Islamic burial spaces in Northwestern Europe

Danielle House, Mariske Westendorp, Vevila Dornelles, Farjana Islam, Helena Nordh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In this chapter, we use a comparative approach to explore the nuanced experiences of disposition in various Muslim communities in diverse social, cultural, and policy contexts. Through a sample of cases from different countries in Northwest Europe (Ireland, Scotland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden and Norway), we see how Muslim communities negotiate burial space in countries where Islamic burial is framed as a ‘minority’ practice. We first outline Islamic deathscapes in this region and locate this within literature on burial practices, identity, and belonging. We then explore three specific issues within this: the choice of whether migrant Muslims are buried in their country of origin or the town they are living in; the physical segregation and experience of Islamic burial spaces; and Islamic memorial and grave aesthetics. This reveals that current Islamic burial in Northwest Europe is not simply a blending of minority and majority norms, but a much more complex, fluid, and responsive field.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Perspectives on Urban Deathscapes
Subtitle of host publicationContinuity, Change, and Contestation
EditorsDanielle House, Mariske Westendorp, Avril Maddrell
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781802202397
ISBN (Print)9781802202380
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2023


  • Burial
  • Deathscapes
  • Identity
  • Minority burial practices
  • Muslim
  • Northwest Europe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • General Social Sciences


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